What are your opinions on some economists saying a strong federal work force is key to economic recovery?

And, would federal belt-tightening really worsen our problems - is bigger government really the answer? WASHINGTON – The economic downturn has forced private industry and state and local government to shed jobs, but one major employer in the country is hiring: The federal government. While the nation's 11... show more And, would federal belt-tightening really worsen our problems - is bigger government really the answer?

WASHINGTON – The economic downturn has forced private industry and state and local government to shed jobs, but one major employer in the country is hiring: The federal government.

While the nation's 11 million unemployed and the millions more who fear losing their jobs may feel Washington should streamline too, economists say a strong federal work force is key to economic recovery. Were President Barack Obama to put any of the nearly 2 million federal civil servants out in the street in the middle of the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, the consequences could be dire.

"Federal belt-tightening would worsen the problem right now," said Kevin Hassett, director of economic policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank. "Most economists agree that the federal government is a built-in stabilizer," said Hassett, a former adviser to GOP presidential campaigns.

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